Why can’t Arby’s be Arby’s?Posted by Craig Johnson on October 3, 2012 Share
Arby's recently revealed an evolutionary rebrand, with the specifics well documented by Brand New. I'll preface all of this by saying that I really like Arby's and have been a fan for quite some time. But I've been frustrated by their inability to stay focused as a brand. In the past few years, I don't think I've seen one advertisement for Arby's mentioning their wonderful, classic roast beef sandwich. Each move they make seems to be avoiding the real problem, which is they can't find an honest focus for the brand and stick with it. Only short term strategies have been deployed.
I will say this recent change of focusing the brand around the slicing of fresh meat in the restaurant, is probably the best try they've had in recent years. But it still avoids the obvious. They are known for the Roast Beef sandwich!! And last time I checked, no other restaurant owns that position in the market. Meanwhile there is plenty of competition around slicing meat (as in, every deli in the country).
I've said it once and I'll say it again: Arby's, why oh why, do you keep avoiding the fact that you have wonderful roast beef sandwiches? It is the heart of your company and your brand. It is what got you here and you avoiding it is what keeps hurting you.
It's easier to reach for something new and harder to stick to what has been your focus for decades. But great companies know their focus and don't stray from it.